PLAINVILLE - The Town Council agreed monday to pursue a state program to aid nonprofits.
A public hearing on Plainville’s participation in the 2017 Neighborhood Assistance Act came and went with no audience feedback. The state program allows corporations who donate to nonprofit organizations approved by the town to receive a tax break.
The Congregational Church of Plainville, the Queen Ann Nzinga Center and the Plainville Early Learning Center have expressed interest in being part of this program. The church would put $150,000 of this money toward energy efficiency renovations. The Queen Ann Nzinga Center will put $24,000 of the money toward its assistance programs and the Early Learning Center will use $20,000 of the additional funds to support its infant and toddler program.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee also discussed the ongoing state budget discussions at the state Capitol.
“We passed our budget assuming the governor’s proposed budget amount,” he said. “The Republicans and Democrats both proposed alternatives which would result in slightly increased revenues if they have any chance of passing. Neither will decrease the amount we receive from the state.”
Lee also reminded councilors that they are required to set the property tax rate 30 days after passing the budget. The tax rate will be discussed further at the May 15 meeting.
During the all-day budget vote held last week, Town Council Chairwoman Kathy Pugliese said that the council had waited to set the mill rate in order to have a better idea of what the state budget would shape up to be.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Sheri Labowski, a parent of a child attending Wheeler School, encouraged the town to go forward on the Wheeler school renovation project.
“We recently moved from the Toffolon School district to Wheeler - we were committed to staying in Plainville because of what it offers for parks and recreation,” she said. “But when we stepped into Wheeler we were surprised and disappointed. I’ve heard people’s concerns, but if the state doesn’t reimburse us for Wheeler then the money will just go to someone else. Why not us? If we ignore this it will snowball and become more expensive down the line. For the sake of my kids and everyone else at Wheeler I pray we move forward with this cause.”
Board of Education member Becky Tyrell agreed that there is a need for renovations at Wheeler and said that the timing could not be better. She added that the repairs to the parking lot at Plainville High School tied to the project are also needed.
“I am concerned that a person may have an accident and if there is an issue we may be held liable,” she said.
The council set a referendum date for June 6 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Plainville Firehouse for the project.
When resident Lou Ferrangos questioned Lee regarding the timetable for the project, Lee said it would take two years. If approved June 6 at referendum, the project will go out to bid this winter and construction will begin next summer.
Prior to voting in favor of setting a referendum date for the Wheeler project, several councilors spoke in favor of it.
“This will put the school in a very good state for many years to come,” said Councilor Rosemary Morante. “This is in good interest for the town.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.